Chief developer and founder of the Tekken series, Katsuhiro Harada, was linked to a NeoGAF thread largely criticizing the design, style, and personality of the newly announced Tekken 7 character Lucky Chloe.
In her announcement trailer, Lucky Chloe is shown to be a jubilant, energetic breakdancing fighter with a black, pink, and white pop idol costume. She also looks like a cat, with cat-ear headphones, paws, and a tail. NeoGAF reacted critically, criticizing the outlandish design, the stereotypical-seeming character design, and the implied fanservice that goes along with young looking women, pigtails, and cat accessories. Harada, in reply, criticized NeoGAF’s far-reaching criticisms – suggesting that they could not speak for the entire Western audience.
Harada then went on to tweet that only East Asia and Europe will see the release of Lucky Chloe, that she won’t appear in the US. Instead, she will be replaced by a “well-muscled, Skin-head, Very powerful attack” character, while also saying such a character is unneeded. He continued by ridiculing American’s apparent taste for gun-toting or MMA-style fighters.
He later closed with a simple “If you need, I’ll release. If you don’t need, I don’t release,” and that he’s responding to the supply and demand of the game’s fanbase. However the development team is hard at work on the arcade release of Tekken 7 and will be considering the fate of Lucky Chloe later in the development cycle.
As it stands, there’s something of an industry clamoring for developers to hear from their audience, especially in the wake of Mass Effect 3 seeing a fan-insisted ending change and larger Twitter movements for the industry to heed its audience more. However, the idea of adding region-exclusivity to certain characters simply because a group of people were petty enough to complain about the content seems like a step in the wrong direction. In the same vein, a developer threatening to cut content simply to spite a group of potential players is also a step in the wrong direction. No one wins when the industry takes a step backward – for any reason.
Players interested in or curious about Lucky Chloe can find her trailer here, or view it below. If she seems like something you might like to see for a NA release, go tweet Harada. Can’t hurt any more than it already has, right?